Changing Washington D.C.
Ron Wyden is one of the leading voices in the fight to fix Washington. Wyden has worked relentlessly to bring greater transparency to the political process while also curbing the influence of the powerful special interests that crowd out the voices of regular citizens.
“Wyden is eager to find principled compromises with Democrats and Republicans alike to move useful legislation through the U.S. Senate. … Wyden embodies that Kennedy-esque legacy of blending pragmatism and principles, a can-do spirit with strong convictions. He defies the stereotype of the cozy Washington insider; measured, reflective, level-headed, he represents what's right--not what's gone wrong--with the nation's capital.” – Matthew Dalleck, U.S. News & World Report, June 18, 2010
Over many years and multiple Congresses Ron Wyden has teamed up with Republican Senator Chuck Grassley to eliminate Senators’ ability to block the publics’ business in secret. Senators have abused the process to block legislation, appointments of federal judges, and even veterans’ benefits for our women and men in uniform. Ron has long believed that you should have the guts to stand by your decision to hold up a bill or nomination and he has made public disclosures of his holds. After a long fight Ron and Senator Grassley expect to have an up or down vote this fall that eliminates this corrosive practice once and for all.
Ron Wyden wrote the original Stand By Your Ad law that required federal candidates to appear in their ads and stand by the attacks that they threw out on the airwaves. When the U.S. Supreme Court in the Citizens United case opened the door to unlimited, anonymous corporate spending in our elections, Wyden stood up to demand the same transparency and accountability for corporations that is required of individual citizens. He is an author of the DISCLOSE Act, which would rebuild campaign finance laws and would require corporate CEOs, union leaders and the heads of advocacy groups to appear in ads and identifying who paid for it.
Ron Wyden supported legislation to restrict the revolving door between Congress and lobbying firms by extending the period of time before retiring elected officials can become lobbyists. He fought for rules requiring all Members of Congress to disclose all earmarks they have requested and he voted to end gifts and travel paid for by lobbyists.
Forging Bipartisan Agreement
“Always the most bipartisan of Democrats” – David Broder, Washington Post
Throughout his public service, Ron Wyden has worked to find common sense solutions to the problems our country faces. He knows that no one party has a monopoly on good ideas, which is why he’s worked to build bridges across the party divide to do what is right for the people of Oregon. Ron has proposed over a dozen significant bi-partisan initiatives in this Congress alone.
The Only Major Bipartisan Health Reform Bill in Decades
In 2006, Ron Wyden proposed groundbreaking legislation to provide affordable, high-quality, private health coverage for every American, regardless of where they work or live. The plan garnered bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate – the only major health reform bill to do so in decades. The proposal was a major point of discussion in the recent debate, earned praise from across the political spectrum, and had a positive impact on the final legislation.
The Bipartisan Effort to Reform Federal Taxes
The U.S. tax code is cluttered with nearly 10,000 exemptions, deductions, credits and other preferences that stifle growth and punish middle-class families that cannot take advantage of the tangled web of special interest tax breaks. Ron is pushing the only bipartisan plan that will simplify the code, offer a tax cut to vast majority of taxpayers and end the exemptions that encourage companies to ship jobs overseas. The proposal is winning praise from across the ideological spectrum and is the first serious attempt to reform taxes since Oregon Senator Bob Packwood helped pushed through changes in 1986.
Building a Bipartisan Partnership for the Good of Oregon
Ron Wyden beat Gordon Smith in a hard fought special election in 1996. But after Smith was also elected to the Senate later that year, both agreed that they would put partisanship aside and work together on behalf of Oregonians. Smith and Wyden formed an effective partnership, standing up for Oregon in the Congress. Together, they delivered for Oregon – passing the Secure Rural Schools Act to extend the federal support to timber-dependent counties, preserving as over 200,000 acres of pristine wilderness across Oregon, saving drought-affected farmers in the Klamath Basin and passing countless other initiatives.